Asian families ‘influence’ children’s job choices

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Professions that top list include Medicine, Law and Accountancy

A QUARTER of British Asian students say their families have a significant influence on their choice of career, new research has revealed.

In a poll carried out on university campuses across the UK, 24% of British Asian students admitted their choice of career was heavily influenced by family members.

The figure is much higher than for white British people where only 9% said their families had a significant influence on their choice of career.

The research was carried out on behalf of the Tesco Asian Network which was launched in 2008 by Sir Terry Leahy to attract and develop Asian Talent inside and outside the supermarket giant.

The responses of the British Asian students ranged from those who went as far as to put their families’ wishes ahead of their own (3%) and going with the career their parents’ suggested (3%), to those who said their family’s views strongly influenced their decision (18%).

Only 32% of British Asian graduates said their families had had no influence on their choice of career at all – compared to almost half (47%) of the White British control group.

Faisal Sheikh, spokesperson for the Tesco Asian Network said: “With families having such a significant influence on Asian Graduates career choice, Tesco realises the importance of getting this message out to them. As a result, the Asian Network is working on a number of promotional activities in 2009 aimed not only at Graduates, but at their parents as well. We’re developing a careers brochure for graduate jobs aimed at parents and grandparents. Members of the Asian Network will attend graduate careers fairs to talk to parents as well as students.”

When Tesco asked British Asian parents and grandparents what careers they would prefer their children to go into, most popular were traditional careers such as Medicine (24%), Law (19%), and Accountancy (14%). Retail did not feature in their thinking. 

Mr Sheikh added the company was working hard to challenge misconceptions about working in retail.

“We employ hundreds of thousands of people, working in almost every profession you can think of – including some of those traditional careers like law and accountancy that British Asian parents are keener to see their children and grandchildren go into,” he added. “ Not only is there the opportunity to pursue these traditional careers but, due to the size and diversity of a company like Tesco, people are also able to change career if they feel they want a different experience. Many of the more traditional firms just can’t offer that.”

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